Nancy was moved by the sound of her daughter’s hearty voice. It was never a silent night with Lizzy’s personality, so there was a certain irony regarding the song she belted out at bedtime. “Slee-eep in heavenly peace.”
With an adoring grin, Nancy tucked the flannel sheets firmly around her ‘Lil Lizzy Angel.’
“Do you think I’ll get a good part in the Christmas play?”
Nancy squirmed on the side of the bed. “Well, you’re certainly talented enough, Angel, but one never knows these things.”
“I hope I don’t get a stupid part.”
“Now, Lizzy, there’s no such thing as a stupid part.”
Lizzy sighed, “Yeah, yeah, yeah—that’s what they say anyway.”
Nancy kissed her forehead. “Angel, no matter what part you get, I know you’ll light up the stage. Cuz Jesus shines brightly through you.”
A grin-mixed yawn accompanied, “Thanks, Mom. Good night.”
As Nancy waited in the carpool line at school, she could see Lizzy’s disappointed face from three cars back. Oh no, bad news about the play, I suspect.
“I didn’t get a part, Mom,” Lizzy shared, clanging her seatbelt around to find the buckle.
“I thought everyone gets a part,” Nancy replied.
Lizzy whined in frustration, “I’m part of the stupid choir, Mom. We’re called ‘The Christmas Lights.’”
Nancy bluffed, “Wow—that sounds exciting.”
“No—it doesn’t. It sounds lame.”
“I’m serious. So what do the lights do?”
Rolling her eyes, Lizzy sassed, “They blink, Mom. They blink and sing.”
Nancy gave her a warning look.
“I’m sorry. Okay. The Christmas Lights, aka ‘Choir’ line the back of the stage. They stay unlit until one of the people with the quote, ‘big parts,’ Katie Livingston, AGAIN…gets the cue to plug us in. Of course, we’re actually going to hold battery-operated lights so we can move out to the audience at the end. It’s supposed to be a big finale or something.”
Grinning, Nancy said, “See? I told ya you’d light up the stage.”
Lizzy rolled her eyes. “Oh—thanks, Mom.”
“Well, the stage and decorations look nice,” Nancy said to her husband.
Ben was speed-reading the play’s program bulletin. “Yup—just wait until Lizzy comes out and lights up the stage, though.”
“If she’ll bury the attitude, yes, she’ll light up the whole room.”
The house lights dimmed, and a spotlight beamed on an angel standing on a glittery footstool. “Do not be afraid…wait, can you hear me?” She blew in the microphone, and a high-pitched shrill shot through the sound system.
“Yeeeeessss, they hear you…go…” a loud whisper echoed through the small auditorium.
“That was Lizzy,” Ben whispered to Nancy, who giggled under her breath.
The angel in the spotlight continued. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of…um…”
“Great. Joy.” Obviously, Lizzy elected herself as prompter, Nancy thought.
Suddenly, the spotlight went out. Muddled questions erupted among the spectators.
“One moment please,” the director yelled from the front row. “No one move, okay? Kids, you on the stage, stay right in your spots.” The house lights dimmed on, and the chatter ensued. Nancy wished she could see Lizzy’s facial expression.
A few minutes later, the director whistled, followed by, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid our stage lights’ circuit has blown a fuse. We can keep the house lights on, but the stage will be too dark to continue the show. I’m so sorry.”
The whole room let out a loud moan. “Ahhhhhh.”
Nancy was the first to notice Lizzy exiting the dark stage to talk to the director. The angel, aka Katie Livingston, followed close behind Lizzy.
“What is she up to?” Nancy asked Ben.
Lizzy and Katie went back to their spots on stage, and the director announced to the audience, “Well, it seems we have a change of plans, and we’re gonna go with it, so if you can just turn your attention toward the stage one more time…”
The house lights dimmed again, and Lizzy spoke from the darkness, “An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks at night, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…”
All of the “Christmas Lights” came on, illuminating the angel as she spoke:
“I bring you good news of great joy…today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you—He is Christ the Lord.”
The glory of the Lord shone brightly through the choir that night. And to her parents, Lizzy’s face was the brightest bulb of all.
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